What should employers look out for when considering RPO capability?

Two trends will continue to be relevant topics of discussion among senior leaders for the next several years

What should employers look out for when considering RPO capability?

There are multiple factors which are making it difficult to compete for quality talent, according to Nicole Cook, managing director at PeopleScout.

“Global demographic trends, shifting job requirements as a result of digitisation, the fourth industrial revolution and low unemployment rates in developed countries will continue to put pressure on an organisation’s search for top talent,” Cook told HRD.

“Combined with this, there will also be a shift in the skills required, which presents an interesting challenge.”

Cook cited a recent report from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) which suggests that “globally, up to 375 million workers may need to switch occupational categories” as a result of the automation of the workforce.

These two trends will continue to be relevant topics of discussion among senior leaders for the next several years, she added.

The following are some areas that employers should look out for when considering Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) capability:

The digitisation of the talent acquisition function
Many leading RPOs are looking for ways to complement their services with an enhanced technology offering. For example, at PeopleScout, we recently launched our Affinix™ platform which takes a candidate-centric approach, putting the emphasis on the candidate experience. A recent article in Forbes suggested that 2018 will be the year of the end-to-end employee experience.

Where customer experience had been the focus, employee experience will now get the attention. Recruitment is at the very beginning of the employee experience. Employers with lengthy, complicated hiring processes that are built to meet the organisation’s needs rather than the candidate’s needs could be at a competitive disadvantage in industries where competition for talent is particularly high. 

The rise of the total workforce solution
RPOs are being asked to look at talent in its entirety. To date, the scope of many RPO arrangements might include permanent and contract but don’t extend to contingent hiring. RPOs with Managed Service Provider (MSP) capabilities can not only manage both types of workers, but also develop integrated strategies in order to solve some of the more complex hiring challenges like creating more alignment with key talent that wants to work more flexibly.

Development of a graduate recruitment strategy
Over the next five to 10 years, the supply and demand gap of educated talent is going to increase. Today, many companies are becoming more innovative with their graduate recruitment programs in order to get ahead of these challenges.

Some are engaging with secondary education institutions, connecting with students before they select their university choices. RPO providers need to be on top of these trends and work with organisations to develop their graduate strategies.  It’s a good time to be a graduate again.

Market insights, research and guidance
Clients will ask RPOs to continue to be the experts in the competition for talent and the skills shifts happening in the workforce. RPOs also need to make sure that an organisation’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is well-positioned and be a key advisor in the process of linking total workforce management to companies overall business strategies.

RPOs are more than teams of recruitment consultants; they are often asked to be management consultants who specialise in talent acquisition. This truly motivates me as the recruitment industry transforms to keep up!

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